My Roommate is a Gumiho is a brilliant Kdrama currently airing on iQIYI, combining modern life with a captivating use of ancient mythology.
The series is packed with brilliant humor and pathos, and is sprinkled with relatable moments that give viewers so many reasons to keep watching.
By far, it is the Gumiho lore that is the most intriguing. However, that aspect does not shadow over the rest of the content featured in each episode.
My Roommate Is A Gumiho Pulls From Korean Folklore
A Gumiho is a fox from Korean folklore, who is a shape-shifting creature that can take the form of a human. They often appear in the guise of beautiful women, who are said to kill men in order to obtain their liver or heart, depending on the legend. A gumiho is a nine-tailed fox much like the Chinese huli jing and the Japanese kitsune. It’s unclear why Korean folklore sees them as evil beings, since Chinese versions of the creature have stories involving them helping people.
In My Roommate is a Gumiho, he’s depicted as a fox that is jealous of humanity and wishes to become one, but to do so, they must take the energy of humans to make the transformation permanent. This energy is collected in the marbles they store in their body, which is passed in to their human victims to collect the energy. They also have various abilities including shape-shifting in to different personas and teleportation.
The lore make the show so intriguing to watch, and the brilliance of My Roommate is a Gumiho is that it does not spoil it all by releasing all the information at once. This is important as the suspense, as well as the comical and dramatic scenes, would then be either have a weaker impact or be over-shadowed.
Who’s Who in My Roommate is a Gumiho
My Roommate is a Gumiho is primarily focused on two characters, which are the Gumiho and the girl who has a fateful encounter with him. Shin Woo-yeo is a successful businessman who conducts studies for historical documents and has been said to write as if he has lived in past eras. This is because he has, since he is a Gumiho who has lived for over a thousand years.
It is his depth of knowledge that really stands out among his peers. He is a private individual and always has a collect expression, which gives him an awesome mysterious persona. Due to being attractive to many, he often is asked out by various women, however, he seems to always excuse himself.
The girl that finds herself living with Woo-yeo is Lee Dam, which is the character mainly focus in the series. Dam is a typical student that procrastinates, enjoys drinking with friends, and indulges in her favorite food, fried chicken. While walking home drunk trying to comfort her hopeless romantic friend, who is almost blackout drunk, she bumps in to the Gumiho. While Woo-yeo tries to catch her, the marble falls out from his mouth from the impact and drops into Dam’s.
As a result of this encounter, Woo-yeo is now determined to get the marble back from Dam. What Dam soon discovers is exactly how dire this problem is. To look after Dam and the marble, Woo-yeo offers for Dam to move in with him, but first he reveals himself to be a Gumiho. This shocks Dam to the core and naturally takes a while to get her head round it, especially with all the horror stories involving the folklore beast.
The life of Dam is what the show mainly focuses on since the result of the marble being within her, has changed her circumstances dramatically. The lore around the marble is related to the interactions she has that are linked to the animals of the Korean Zodiac. This includes negative effects from eating specific food or meeting people of a certain zodiac. The main effect being that anyone born the year of the tiger causes her to become greatly weakened, which can be so dangerous for her.
This My Roommate is a Gumiho preview features the contract forged to protect both Dam and the marble after suffering the negative effects of Dam’s usual lifestyle.
One element that fans will enjoy is the humor scattered around every episode. There are so many relatable moments, including the stresses of school and giving up bad habits. Even the music is perfectly suited for every moment it is used in this captivating show. The use of cinematic drama, paired with the stories centered around Dam and the Gumiho, makes My Roommate is a Gumiho a series that can get fans into the genre.
There are other various characters separately in Dam and Woo-yeo’s life. This includes a ex-Gumiho who recently became human, named Yang Hye-sun, as well as Gye Seon-woo, who is a playboy that is a fellow student attracted to Dam but is born the year of the Tiger. Meaning that Dam hilariously keeps attempting to avoid him.
My Roommate is a Gumiho currently has 12 episodes out, and will have 16 in total, with each episode being an hour long. Which is a great length for an episode in this genre since it sets a great pace and adds important suspense. The show is streaming on the iQIYI platform and will require a VIP membership if you wish to watch all episodes. Fortunately, the first three episodes are free and if you wish to start watching, use our special link.
What do you think of My Roommate is a Gumiho? Will this show get you in to other Kdramas? What do you think of the Gumiho folklore? Let us know on social media, or in the comments below, and keep following The Illuminerdi for more.